Saturday, December 10, 2022

Barcelona must beat Chelsea to sign Ousmane Dembele and Raphinha

Barcelona president Joan Laporta boasted last weekend that they would achieve positive resolutions on each of their transfer ambitions after pulling financial levers as if they were in some casino – except those levers pay handsomely – and that seems to be the case.

Last week they announced the signings of Andreas Christensen and Franck Kessié on free transfers, remained firm on Frenkie De Jong and now appear to have managed to not only re-sign Ousmane Dembele but also add Raphinha.

Dembélé officially became a free agent on July 1, but that didn’t change his overall situation. Chelsea certainly didn’t seem to be pushing herself beyond our reported initial contacts. Meanwhile, Barca appear to have softened their stance just enough to break through. Dembélé’s return is not yet official, but it is very likely at this point.

Furthermore, Barcelona have now managed to match Chelsea’s offer for Raphinha – structured differently but with the same overall value (or at least the same stadium) – and the expectation is that Leeds United will find this acceptable. Once they do, Raphinha will be able to choose her heart club over her brain club. Oh well.

At the end of the day, neither of these developments really affect Chelsea that much, despite the meaty sagas surrounding both. Raheem Sterling looks to be our big arrival up front and the focus should and needs to be on defense anyway.

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